A Loop Pops Up (August 7, 2003)
Hi-res TIF image (3.3M)
A thin and looping solar prominence in extreme ultraviolet light
(ionized helium at 304Å) is seen rising above the Sun's edge in a
bulbous fashion, then dissipating on 31 July 2002. The action lasts
about eight hours. Prominences are huge clouds of relatively cool,
dense plasma suspended in the Sun's hot, tenuous corona. Magnetic
fields built up enormous forces that propelled these particles out
beyond the Sun's surface into the corona. Emission in this spectral
line shows the upper chromosphere at a temperature of about 60,000
degrees K. For a sense of scale, the prominence at its furthest
reach extended about 15 Earths out from the Sun.
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